Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Helping Each Other

Just over a year ago, our family was struck with the dreaded "c" word.  My dad found out he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Regardless of how treatable they say the disease is, when they tell someone you love that they have cancer, its scary.  The day we found out, we were so upset.  I tried to be strong for my mom but I remember coming home to get something and talking with my friend, Stephanie, and just feeling like I could finally talk about how scared I was. 

Shortly after hearing the news, our insurance agent had just so happened to ask how he was doing and I'd told her what we'd been told.  Before I got home that day, he had already gotten a phone call from her pastor.  He had been there.  He had just had surgery for prostate cancer.  He was able to help dad through his battle.

Today, on the way home from work, Dad called the man to check on him.  You see, a few months ago, this brother found out that his cancer had returned.  This time, this man had to have radiation.  Now, Dad was able to be there for him.  He can talk to him from a "been there, done that" stand point.  I started thinking of how weird (for lack of a better word) it was that the circle had come full force.  He was first able to be an ear for Dad and now Dad's able to be an ear for him.  I'm sure it has to help each of them to have someone who's actually been through it.

I remember about two weeks ago when I was so discouraged.  I sat in our church and looked around thinking "There is NO ONE who understands this.  Not a soul in this building has been there and can understand what I'm going through."  Jon said he did, and while I know he probably understood more than anyone there, he still couldn't understand it from a woman's standpoint (at least according to my mind).

Later that night, I was talking to him and told he what I had thought.  Among many other things, he reminded me that someday, some woman will go through this same exact thing and I (of all people) will be able to help her...those other people won't because they've never been there. I hope that is true, not because I want another woman to suffer, but I want to be able to help someone else.  If when its all said and done, my trials will allow me to offer just a small word of encouragement to another person, then it will be worth it.

I remember growing up, my mom would often remind me what a dear friend of ours would say: there is never a trial that you go through that someone else hasn't already been through.  Sometimes, we don't talk about our trials and heartaches for fear of what others would think, when in actuality, talking about that very trial might be just what they need to hear. I've come to realize lately that sometimes the very things that we don't want to talk about - maybe we're ashamed that we've had that trial or that fight - are the things that help others.  Maybe it lets them know they're not alone, that someone else has "been there." We don't help others by acting perfect all the time...we help others by admitting we're not perfect.  So know that through this journey or any journey, I'm not perfect...I've had emotions, a little bit (maybe more) jealously, and trials.  But I'm still standing.

Still waiting, hoping, and praying...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Praying for Rain

Last week and weekend were emotional for me.  For reasons that I won’t go into on here, it was difficult.  I went (within about 12 hours) from being excited and hopeful to being confused, hurt, and sad.  Sometimes, as much as you’re OK with your current circumstances, you still weep over what could have been.  Sometimes, as much as you try to have faith, it withers.
My husband has been strong for me throughout this wait.  He doesn’t say much about it without me bringing it up first (or at least didn’t for a while), but anytime I mention the fact that I am worrying or that my faith is lacking, he is always there to cheer me up and encourage me.  Last week, when I had my emotional meltdown, he was there for me.  My mom was also there for me.  Even when I completely deserved to have someone say “snap out of it” or “you’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” she didn’t.  Her words showed me that she understood I was hurting.  I’m so thankful to have my family supporting me.
Saturday, I bought the last two “must haves” that I thought needed before baby EJ arrives.  I needed (or wanted) to have a diaper bag ready.   I found a giraffe print diaper bag.  Of course that’s what I went with – have you seen the nursery? I also FINALLY decided on and bought some bottles.  Dr. Brown’s it is! I will probably think of things I need to get.  I still need to search through Dakota’s totes to see if I can find some burp clothes, which is one of the major things I need for my diaper bag. I’m sure I’ll think of other things, but I feel (mostly) prepared now.
On our way to church Sunday night, I mentioned to Jon that we might need to go ahead and get the car seat installed.  I’ve debated on whether to install it now or wait until we get the call.  Jon then reminded me of a story.  He didn’t have to tell me the whole story – I’d heard it before.  I may not get it word for word accurate, but I do want to share it with you.  I hope that someone else out there gets something good out of it as well.

Once upon a time, there was a land that was going through a major drought.  The people in the land needed rain and needed it badly.  Three men decided that they were going to go somewhere together and pray for rain.  They decided to meet at a certain time to do that.  When they met, one of the gentlemen was carrying an umbrella.  Of course, since it hadn’t rained in a while, the other two gentlemen wondered why in the world this man brought an umbrella during this drought.  The man’s reply was simple: “Aren’t we going to pray for rain?”
This story says so much about praying with faith.  If we are praying for something, shouldn’t we prepare for it to happen? If we are truly having faith, aren’t we expecting it? So, please don’t laugh if you see me in Walmart buying diapers or see us outside installing a car seat.  We are trying to have faith that our baby EJ will soon be home with his or her Mommy, Daddy, and big brother.
Still waiting, hoping, and praying…

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Still Waiting

Hello! I realize it has been almost a month since my last update.  I really haven’t had much to update.  Our agency has sent some more pictures of baby feet.  I really hope this means we are moving up on the list.  My emotions are still crazy.  I saw a picture this week taken of a family at the moment their baby was about to be placed into their arms.  I almost cried – maybe even did a little.  It was beautiful. The dad had a huge smile on his face and you could tell from the picture that the mom was absolutely beside herself with emotion.  Beautiful.
I’m so anxious for the day we get the call.  I’m so excited to see the look on my son’s face when he meets his new baby brother or sister for the first time.  I have “big brother” shirts hanging in his closet just waiting. I have three of them to be exact.  I’m so excited for the emotions that I know I’ll feel – I almost get teary eyed just thinking about it.  I’m excited to see Jon’s face.  I’m excited to get to experience my parents meeting the baby for the first time.
You see, although most of these things (other than Dakota’s part) have been experienced by our family once before, I didn’t truly get to enjoy them.  The first time I met Dakota, I was still so doped up on medication that I was barely myself.   I can’t even remember for sure if I actually got to see when my parents first met him (don't think I did) and I know I didn’t get to see when Jon first met him (other than pictures).  I’m so excited to get to actually experience these things that most mothers get to experience with their first child.
So other than anxiousness for the future and patiently (sometimes, impatiently) waiting, what else is new with us? Well, we added a couple of new family members last month.   Meet Hulk and Fiesty. 

Hulk has longer hair and looks a little more like a lab than Fiesty.  They are ½ lab, ¼ shepherd, and ¼ bulldog mix.  When we first brought them home, they were kind of like infants – slept a lot.  Now, they are more like toddlers – into everything.  Every day when we come home, they have managed to move their house and usually flip over their food bowl over (with food in it). 
We made their first visit to the vet on the Saturday after we brought them home – they were about 8 weeks old.  Hulk weighed about 13lbs and Fiesty about 11lbs.  We are supposed to take them back either this weekend or next.  They will be about 11 weeks old this weekend.  It will be interested to see how much they’ve gained over 3 or 4 weeks.  They seem to be growing super fast.  They will likely be big dogs, but I was the kid who wanted a Saint Bernard growing up, so I’m ok with big dogs.  
I had to include this picture.  I saw a posting on Facebook of a little girl holding her cat. The caption read: "Get a human they said.  It will be fun they said."  I think that caption could fit this picture.
Other than the puppies, there’s not too much new going on since the last post.  I’m afraid to plan too much.  I was even a little afraid to buy tickets to the circus, not knowing what would happen by then.  Well, I finally caved last night.  I bought tickets – for this Saturday night.
Still waiting, hoping, and praying...